Medical Providers and Payment Installments

Asked over 1 year ago - Davis, CA

Fact 1: A medical provider made a phone verbal agreement with a patient on monthly payment installments to pay for a medical bill and made a phone verbal promise to the patient not to send the bill to a collection agency. Fact 2: The patient pays the installments every month as agreed. Fact 3: While the patient was making the monthly payment installments and having already paid half of the balance, the medical provider transfers the unpaid half of the bill to a collection agency. Question 1: Did the medical provider violate its agreement with the patient to make monthly payments and not send it to a collection agency? Question 2: Is such verbal agreement considered a verbal binding contract? Question 3: Can the patient sue the medical provider for the damage to his credit?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Charles Ross Smith III

    Contributor Level 16


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You have three problems:.

    1. You will have great difficulty proving that the alleged agreement ever happened with disinterested witnesses. I find that oral agreements usually "never happened" when you confront the creditor.

    2. You gave no "consideration" for the agreement to become a contract. Yes, you agreed to make payments and you even made payments faithfully. But you already owed all of the bill and so you did not give any new consideration for the agreement. Contracts simply are not contracts, unless there is new consideration for the agreement.

    3. You do not appear to have any actual damages. You already owed the bill and the creditor was entitled to report it to the credit reporting agencies regardless of the agreement. Worse, you have not shown that you suffered any actual financial loss as a result of the report to the credit reporting agency.

    This answer is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship and may not be relied upon as legal advice.... more
  2. William Asa Grafton

    Contributor Level 12


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . 1 - Probably.
    2 - If you could prove it.
    3 - Probably not.

    You need more than a broken promise to sue. You have to show that the promise created a valid binding contract and that they breached the contract, and that the breach damaged you. You probably fail on all 3 elements.

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